by Julia Cabrera
Rabat– Within the walls of the old medina the city hall of Rabat begins renovations on one of the most transited roads, Avenue Mohammed V.
Farah Cherif, founder of the Center for Cross Cultural Learning in Rabat, Morocco, said city hall has a specific budget assigned to the restoration and cultivation of its communities. “The over 300 years old homes on this street were part of the patrimony and are historical landmarks, it’s important to conserve them,” Cherif said.
Avenue Mohammed V is a large strip expanding throughout the main section of the medina and continues outside its walls. The part within the medina is known to residents as Lagza, and is the second busiest street in the medina.
The key in this project according to Moroccan native Badrdine Boulaid, is to keep the traditional style of Rabat and preserve what is collapsing. “ It is not just a simple construction job,” said Boulaid, “artisans have to recreate the moldings and preserve our history.”
Cherif explained that the renovations are not only on the homes and shops, but they are also renovating the sewage systems as the current systems can no longer support the new processes of the medina. According to Boulaid the restoration is necessary because the current drains were placed in the 20’s and 40’s.
Fatiha Takaajaout, a language teacher in the medina commutes daily on Mohammed V. She believes that while the restorations are positive steps for the city, they’re taking longer than she expected. “ It is not safe to walk on this street with all the construction going on,” said Takaajaout, “but looking forward I know we will have a beautiful medina.